Give Me a Little More Time…

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creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by Jill Clardy

For the final day of Black Book we will be showcasing your portfolios as well as hosting an event around the GIF the Portrait project. Think of the day as an unofficial CT party. Something that we should have been doing already.

A final post as well should be written and published for that day which will provide a final report on your progress toward creating a final project proposal, preparing for the internship, and creating a portfolio/online digital presence. Here are some guidelines to consider in your final written post:

  1. Final Project Proposal
    1. Have you been given permission to register for the final project class? If not do you have a semester in mind to register?
    2. Give a clear description of what you are going to make. This is a paragraph that would give some technical detail as well as illustrate the ‘story’ of your work. That narrative is possible to write whether it is an actual traditional documentary, or a website, or a set of GIFs, or an animation, or an abstract music video. There will be structure to your project that you should be able to articulate in writing.
    3. Describe what assets you have to complete the project. These vary of course to the project. Fiction films need scripts, actors, locations, crew, and more all set. Websites need domain names, web hosting, web applications. Animations need characters, backgrounds, music, tools for animating. What resources, pieces, tools, etc. do you have in place to complete your project by the end of the semester.
    4. A timeline for finishing your project based on major milestones. Define so key things that will need to be made throughout your project and nail a date down for completing them. Put these together in a list format. Check them for feasibility.
  2. Internship Plan
    1. Do you have an internship in place and approved by Daniel Phelps? If not do you have a semester in mind to register?
    2. Is you resume ready to go. Have you written a cover email to an organization of interest? Do you include a link to an online presence/portfolio?
  3. Portfolio – The choices you’ve mede you should in your post example where you are with them. Which allows to recognize you need to do work.
    1. Work Example
      1. Description and additional meta data
      2. A method of work organization and presentation
    2. Contact Info – choices of kinds of contact info based on privacy concerns
    3. A clear organization/navigation of the site
    4. Resume/CV/credits/clips/external links
    5. Social Media Links and/or embeds
    6. About me/artist statement/who am i/ WTF do I do?
    7. REAL NAME
    8. A Domain name and/or URL (this may or may not be connected to a service)

Taking your advice and remembering to ask for help


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We’ve got five weeks or so left in the semester and three remaining meeting days. The three main goals for the class – internship preparation, final project proposal, and online portfolio are in various states of readiness. On the last class you are going to report out on all three and present your online portfolio too.

What I thought would be a good idea today would be for you to review your own advice first. Ask yourself which of these pieces of advice do I need to take to heart myself and why. Which things could you be doing more often even as you are about to finish school.

And finally recognizing it’s not always about knowing what you should do but asking for help where you need it most. So I’d like you to ask me what can I do in these last few weeks to help you accomplish the three goals in this course. Or anything else!

Would you like me to review, help edit an about page on your portfolio? Give feedback on the pieces you’ve selected to present? Jog through some final project ideas? Help frame some steps to be taken toward your final project? Talk about approaches to contacting a company you’d like to intern with? Anything else?

Let me know.

I know you’re prepared because…

  1. Internship Preparations (you can sign-up for the course)
    1. Have a resume that has been reviewed/approved by Daniel Phelps
    2. Research companies/organizations? How? What have you done? Type of company/organization?
    3. How do you apply? One avenue? Multiple avenues?
    4. How would you contact/reach-out the organization? Go there? Find a name? Personal connections?
    5. Understand all the requirements of the internship class? Do you know what they are? These are required to actually register for the course.
    6. Internship specific web resume services to help make connections between students and organizations.
    7. If you wish to intern in Spring 2015 you have to find an internship now!
  2. Portfolio/Web Presence (it’s ready when I’m willing to put on a resume, an email signature, attach my real name to it)
    1. Internship specific web resume services to help make connections between students and organizations.
    2. Gather, organize, and display content that you wish others to see.
    3. Social media concerns – which platforms will you present in what ways and for what reasons.
    4. A personal website – your own domain. Are you doing this? Is it up to date? Do you wish to do this? Apply a domain name to a social media space like Tumblr? Install WordPress?
  3. Final Project Proposal
    1. The details of the requirements complete a project.
    2. Oh yeah knowing what you want to make needs to come first?

That’s a Sweet Place to Work

designers at work

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Mathieu!

Now that you’ve been introduced to the internship process with Daniel, it’s time to start searching for workplaces that you find interesting. Even if a company does not advertise an internship program, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they would do not have interns.

For this assignment, I would like you to find ten companies/organizations that you find interesting and do a quick write-up on each of them in a single blog post. For each location please include the following information:

1. The contact information for the company. This should include the obvious Name, location, telephone, and web site address (please link it don’t just paste it). But also see if you can find the HR person, and/or internship coordinator if there is one.

2. Give a description of the company (please do not copy/paste their about us page or description). And describe what you like about them, why you would like to work for them. Please consider the examples of job types and the skills necessary in the three jobs that were presented to you – Digital Project Manager (administrative), Writer/Editor (creative) and Board Operator (technician). Consider how these types of roles likely exist in all the workplaces you discover.

3. Describe the kind job you would like to do with this company. How would you envision the ‘perfect internship’ with this organization – what would you learn and who would you work with?

4. Be sure to categorize this post as ‘internship’ and add lots of tags that describe the kinds of work they do. And be mindful of the auto-complete of previously used tags and use them if they work for you.

Come Have a Seat in the Midpoint Cafe


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Get a cup of coffee. Order something filling. Bring a friend to talk to. And now grab a napkin and write down your plan for the final seven weeks of the semester. What??? Yes you should consider actually doing this over a meal, with a friend. Someone you can talk about celebrity apologies/regrettable television and ideas for your career, final project, and your portfolio/online presence.

Then take that napkin and use it to draft a blog post here in black book. To graduate you will need to work in an internship, create a final project, and present an online profile that you would put on a resume. We’ve worked on a number of different strategies to prepare for these: drafting resumes, gathering portfolio artifacts, and deep thinking about your creative process. We also have a collaboratively built document that describes possible pieces of an online portfolio.

I want you to create a seven week plan for the remainder of the semester to accomplish these three goals. In a blog post, detail what you’ve done so far to accomplish these three goals and describe what you will work on each week until the end of the semester. Look to the deadline meeting dates for the rest of the semester and use them in your plan. List each day and bullet out what you will complete by each date.

We’ve discussed that preparing a plan for a final project appears to be one of the more confusing processes. To help, I reached out to a colleague at BMCC and he loaned a copy of their documentation for a course they teach in media project management. It covers preparations for documentary, fiction film, animation, and web projects – it also discusses an audience analysis primarily geared around industrial work which may or may not apply to your project. I can’t post this doc online, but I will pass it around in class.

I look forward to seeing your plans and remember we meet next week 10/24 10AM-2PM where you will present your plan to everyone for feedback.

Check the Resume Foo!


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Using a couple of sample resumes, today in class we abstracted the descriptions of a sample production and a place of employment. For work experience, common descriptions are highlighted in common colors:

Work Experience Breakdown2

Green amounted to a description of different interactions with people at the workplace. Yellow spoke to maintenance activities. And blue spoke to job specific skills activities. Create a work experience example that includes all three of these types of activities.

For the production examples:

Production Examples

Green was a description of the time, name, type of production, and location. Pink defines the person’s role(s) in the production. Yellow defines the length (scope for non-time based media) and a simple story/purpose summary. Blue gives some description of how it was made. Camo-green describes where the production can be found or was presented.

In class you began the process of creating a resume based on the guidelines abstracted and using the samples linked above. For next class please complete your resume and bring a printed copy as well as a digital copy to class 9/23. Daniel Phelps the internship coordinator will be reviewing your resumes and will be speaking about the internship process.

For Eleven Days Get Off Your Creative Butts


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We meet again on September 23rd. That’s eleven days from now. Everyday between now and then you must make something or freeform write 750 words.

This exercise is meant to help you clear a path toward an idea for a final project. What you make or write about may or may not have anything to do with what you actually choose to make for a final project. That’s ok! It’s a process exercise that will hopefully lead to some ideas or at least a better sense of the direction of your interests.

You can choose to only write, only make, or a combination of both. Do both everyday if you’re ambitious! For writing you can use the online tool 750 Words or you can choose to write 3 pages longhand. Definitely read the home page of 750 Words to get good sense of the purpose and style of writing involved.

Those interested in making something daily, remember the daily create? The ds106 assignment repository? Both are great resources for creative prompts. Feel free to use them, deviate from them, whatever inspires you. Also I recently discovered some ‘challenges‘ from a digital studies course at UMW that might help as well.

At the end of your eleven day challenge you’ll need to publish a blog post that reflects on the experience. You might include something you made or a quote from your writing that you wish to share. But also you should reflect on the challenge and use it to inform a possible direction for your final project. Across the eleven days did you discover a possible focus? Did your writing and/or making reveal a direction for your work?

Not All Portfolios are Professional… Or are They?

For next week I want you to look for a student that has a portfolio and is in or has recently completed some form of academic program in media, production, and/or design. These will be a little harder to find, but a good way is to look for MFA programs out there and find current students through the department sites. Typically there will be displays of work online with names attached. Find a name and Google it with the name of the school. From there you should eventually find something. Typically these students used their online portfolio to get into graduate school, as that is the norm these days for graduate school MFA program applications.

In a blog post, link to the student portfolio and compare it to the one of the professional portfolios (link as well) posted last week. You can use the one you posted or someone else’s. Use the Portfolio Taxonomy to support your analysis of the two. And feel free to add new things to the taxonomy if you’d like!

After you’ve compared the two, let us know what you propose to include in your online portfolio/presence considering the following:

  1. Links – name and describe links on your site.
  2. Artifacts – what kinds of samples and information about them will you include.
  3. Interface Design/Layout – What will you want your site to look like.
  4. Social Media – Will you include social media? Why/why not? If yes what will we see in that space. Realize that if you use YouTube and/or Vimeo you have a ‘channel.’ Will you improve/edit it? How?

I’m Never Going Get to the Finish Line


creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-ND ) flickr photo shared by ….Tim
In CT 399 Portfolio you have three learning objectives:

1. Establish a online portfolio/presence that you would share on your resume/email signature.

2. Create a resume and internship plan.

3. Final Project Proposal.

I think I have a pretty plan in mind for the portfolio, but you should suggest prompts that you believe will help you get to the next step and ultimate goal above.

1. Investigate student portfolios, compare to ‘professional’ portfolios. List out what will be in your’s

2. Platform and tools.

3. Social media?

I mentioned that we notice some students struggle with finding an internship that they really want to do vs. settling. What ideas do you have that you think could help?

Final Project proposals for the most seem to be a little thin and/or not sure what to make.

How do I recognize my skill set and how will that frame what I make. YOU CAN COLLABORATE!

In the comments below suggest activities that you believe would help you reach the three goals above. Suggest at least one thing for each goal. Or if you can’t think of an activity suggest a place you believe you would likely get stuck.

This I want to keep


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For next week please write a blog post and include something that you would believe you might include in a portfolio. It could be a site design, a piece of media, a piece of writing whichever you’d like. Please give the piece context in the blog post.

Also please search for a portfolio/web presence of an individual that you find compelling. Provide a link to their site and give a reason why you believe it is compelling.

Finally refer to this syllabus for a description of what should be included for a bona fide blog post.

The structure of this semester’s syllabus will be discussed next week and we will together decide how and what we will be covering. There are ultimately three core objectives to this course: prepare a portfolio/web presence, final project proposal, and prepare to apply for an internship.